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May 18, 2015

US hedge funds sell Apple, buy Alibaba in Q1

Sales and purchases reflect expected upswing for Alibaba and increased share price for Apple.

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Stakes held by U.S. hedge funds in Apple have been significantly reduced in the first quarter, while Alibaba has seen a large increase.

One of the biggest sell-offs for Apple came came from Coatue, which sold 1.2 million shares during the first three months of 2015. While this signifies a large sell off, it still remains the firm’s biggest U.S. stock investment with 7.7 million shares.

Other firms such as Omega Advisors, sold all of its 383,790 shares in Apple, while Rothschild Asset Management cut its stake by 107,953.

Another big sell off came from Greenlight Capital, which sold 1.2 million shares. However, the firm still holds 7.4 million shares.

These moves come as shares of the iPhone maker have increased, with the first quarter showing a 12.7% rise and a 3.6% rise since the end of March.

Despite this great sell off, some are continuing to buy more shares in the company, with Bridgewater Associates increasing its stake by 473,500 and Carl Icahn remaining unmoved on his 52.8 million shares.

Meanwhile, Alibaba has experienced near opposite fortunes to Apple, with major U.S. hedge funds increasing stakes in the Chinese company.

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Soros Fund Management, Tiger Global Management, Viking Global Investors and Moore Capital Management all increased shares, while Fallaron Capital made a fresh stake in the company of 221,000 shares valued at $18.4 million.

Scott Kessler, S&P Capital IQ analyst, said: "This is a classic example of the more public sentiment being less than positive and the so-called ‘smart money’ seizing on related opportunities."

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